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The good news is that auto insurance designed for active-duty military and veterans often comes with competitive rates and extra discounts if you qualify.

If you are an active duty service member or military veteran, you and your family need automobile insurance just like everyone else. But you may also require a flexible policy that can transition when you are on deployment or extended training missions.

The good news is that auto insurance designed for active-duty military and veterans often comes with competitive rates and extra discounts if you qualify.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Military members often need standard car coverages like everyone else but due to the nature of their careers, they may also have some special insurance circumstances to consider.
  • Some insurance companies offer special discounted rates and perks to military members and their families.
  • Prepare to furnish proof of your active duty or veteran status to be eligible for special rates and/or discounts.

What is military car insurance?

Military car insurance refers to special policies that are specifically targeted toward veterans and military personnel as well as their families. These policies usually include the same standard coverages offered to the general public. But they may also include flexible features such as the ability to suspend or modify coverage when deployed or away for a military reason.

“Auto insurance for active-duty military members and military veterans typically offers discounted premiums compared to standard auto rates for the general public,” says Mark Friedlander, St. Johns, Florida-based director of Corporate Communications for the Insurance Information Institute. “This can lead to substantial savings on auto insurance for members and their families.”

What auto insurance coverage do active military or veterans need?

Truth is, car insurance coverage for active-duty military and veterans is similar to standard coverage provided to civilian policyholders. These coverages, which are recommended to all drivers – regardless of whether you are a service member/veteran or not – can include:

  • Bodily injury liability and property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection
  • Medical payments
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Emergency Road service

“These recommended coverages should be offered to you as well as your spouse, relatives who live in your home, and other licensed drivers who have permission to drive your vehicle. These coverages should also be extended to widows, widowers, and stepchildren,” says Friedlander.

Are there military car insurance discounts for veterans and families?

There are beneficial military car insurance discounts for active duty service members, veterans and their families.

“Carriers that serve this clientele offer premium discounts that specifically account for active-duty members who may use their personal vehicle less than average drivers. Additionally, some offer emergency deployment discounts when an active duty customer is sent overseas or on assignment,” Friedlander notes.

Brian Martucci, finance editor for Money Crashers in Minneapolis, adds that, for active-duty military policyholders, insurers may also subsidize the cost of vehicle storage during emergency deployments.

What do you need to qualify for military car insurance?

Note that you’ll likely be required to verify your military/veteran status to be eligible for discounts. Be prepared to submit a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card, or passport) as well as one of the following military documents:

  • DD-214
  • Discharge certificate
  • Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
  • Military orders if you are on active duty
  • NGB-22
  • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract

Best car insurance companies for military members

While many insurance companies may offer discounted premiums and flexible policies to veterans and active duty service members, three, in particular, stand out for catering to these customers according to Friedlander:

USAA

USAA provides the lowest average auto insurance rates for active duty and veterans across the country and is the largest writer of U.S. military auto policies. Depending on the state you live in, USAA offers up to a 15% discount on optional comprehensive coverage for a car or truck garaged on a military base.

If you are deployed overseas, you will receive up to 60% off your auto insurance while your vehicle is in storage. Among USAA’s many perks, if drivers have not had an at-fault accident in five years, the company automatically provides members with free accident forgiveness coverage on their policy.

USAA also earns exceptional customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power year after year. USAA offers a wide variety of other financial services products, as well, including home, life and health insurance, and banking and credit card services.

“Even as a State Farm agent, I maintained USAA auto coverage because, although there may be companies with lower rates, there is an inherent value in a company that has a better understanding of the military,” says Chris Mancik, a State Farm agent in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and a former Navy supply officer.

AFI

AFI is a military-focused auto insurer that offers coverage through a network of national and regional carriers. In addition to active duty military and veterans, AFI also provides coverage to current and retired Department of Defense employees.

Geico

Geico bestows up to a 15% discount to veterans, and active-duty military members get an extra 15% off auto coverage. Geico also gives military discounts to members of certain associations, including the Armed Forces Benefits Association (AFBA), Navy League of the United States (NLUS), Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU), and American Society of Military Controllers (ASMC). Geico further offers numerous other insurance products including life, umbrella, motorcycle, RV, boat, and personal watercraft.

For additional companies, check out Insurance.com's Best auto insurance companies of 2021.

Money-saving tips for military car insurance

Military car insurance for veterans and families

The Insurance Information Institute advises getting multiple quotes when shopping for military auto coverage.

“Compare rates and assess the type of discount each carrier offers to find the best coverage for the best price,” recommends Friedlander.

Don’t take an insurer’s promises of “military discounts” at face value.

“A 15% discount from insurer A is worth less than a 15% discount from insurer B when the former’s starting premium is 30% higher,” cautions Martucci.

Additionally, be strategic about which person is considered the primary driver on each car, suggests Mancik.

“Also, if you don’t drive very far, or will be gone for extended periods, make sure to have your policy adjusted for being a ‘low-mileage driver,” Mancik adds.

Frequently asked questions about military car insurance

Is USAA for military only?

Yes. USAA auto insurance coverage is only available to active duty and retired military members with a discharge status of honorable, qualifying reservists and Coast Guard members, and qualifying members of eligible service members’ immediate families.

Who has the cheapest military car insurance?

The least expensive car insurance available to military members and/or veterans and their families will vary, depending on many factors, including your driving record, credit rating, age, vehicle type, planned usage, and more. Two car insurance companies noted for offering the most generous discounts include USAA and Geico.

What proof can I use to qualify for military auto insurance?

You’ll probably be required by car insurance companies to verify your military/veteran status to qualify for car insurance discounts. Be prepared to submit a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card, or passport) along with one of the following military documents:

  • DD-214
  • Discharge certificate
  • Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
  • Military orders if you are on active duty
  • NGB-22
  • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract

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